What’s Making Me Happy In November

November has been a happy/stressful time in my personal life (my daughter was born; I’m writing a novel in a month) and a traumatic/stressful time in our country. To ease the stress for both me and you, I am reinstating a series of posts listing the little things that are making me happy. I used to call this “What I’m Into;” some bloggers call it “What’s Saving My Life Right Now.”

This list is all of those things. It’s the good stuff in life.

I’m dreaming about… these Tieks.

I’m not buying them just yet- their price tag is a bit too high for my maternity-leave pocketbook- but just knowing they’re out there, in this gorgeous clover green (my “signature” color), is making me happy. I’ll buy in the spring, maybe, or when I go back to teaching next fall. (If you click through to the main website, play with the color scroller to find your favorite shade. So fun!)

I’m listening to… The Babysitters Club Club podcast.

Not making this up: it’s a podcast where two guys (guys!) discuss each BSC book for a full episode. It’s funny, it’s nostalgic, it’ll take you right back to 1989, sitting on your shag-carpeted bedroom floor, devouring Kristy’s Great Idea. I thought I was the only 35 year old who kept a box full of BSC books in a secret “shame” carton under her bed. But I must be wrong, because there’s a whole world of adults out there still loving, reading and podcasting about this amazing series.

Why haven’t you downloaded it yet???

I’m watching… This Is Us.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, so the new fall lineup doesn’t typically excite me. But this show was raved about by at least three different writers I know, so I paid attention. If a writer likes a show, I know the script is going to be good. So I watched the first episode. No spoilers, but you will gasp and you will cry about one minute before the end. (Don’t read the episode guide before you watch!)

It’s on NBC, and last I checked, you can still get the first episode on demand.

I’m eating… Blue Apron.

My husband and I have had a Blue Apron subscription for awhile, but I’ve only gotten truly hooked recently. We first tried the three meal per week option for couples, but found that we didn’t have three nights available to cook a full meal. Over the summer, we decided to try the two meal a week “family plan,” which would provide us with leftovers (the three meal option often didn’t, and the family plan wouldn’t either if our 4-year-old consistently ate “adult” food, but he’s only halfway there). We get our box on Saturdays, because we’re most likely to have two nights to cook between Saturday and Monday or Tuesday.

We often skip weeks because we’re too busy on a weekend, or because the cost adds up. But on the weeks when we do get a box, I always feel extra cared-for and well-fed. The meals are delicious, the ingredients always super-fresh, and they even show you how to plate it beautifully. My husband, who does almost all the cooking in our household, enjoys making the meals. I enjoy eating them. And we both enjoy not having to figure out dinner plans for the week.

I treated myself to… these pencils.

It was an inexpensive purchase. But I use pencils constantly for my planner, and these make those small moments even more “charming.” (Get it?)

What’s making you happy this month?

9 Responses to “What’s Making Me Happy In November”

  1. I enjoyed reading about what’s making you happy, Leanne. I’ve often wondered about Tieks and about Blue Apron, in particular. (Plus I’m just generally nosy about what makes other people happy!) Love the pencils (and yes, get it!)–I use pencils to work crossword puzzles almost every day, and I buy them when I come across cute ones. I have lots stockpiled right now, so it’ll be a while before I need to replenish.

    What’s making me happy in November?
    The weather! It’s been really nice all month–dry and cool.
    Sketching–I’ve been sketching five minutes a day (or more) since September and my skills are improving.
    Essential oils–I’ve been experimenting with them after reading Essential Oils Every Day, by Hope Gillerman.

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Leanne Sowul says:

      I get to read about what makes you happy all the time, Kathy, so I’m glad I had the chance to reciprocate! (For other readers, check out, Kathy’s blog.)

      I’d love to spend time sketching, but I always seem to use any available free time either reading or writing. Or baking, now that it’s the holiday season. But I think sketching would help me creatively. Sounds like a great habit.

  2. Sara L. says:

    Harry Potter pencils?!?! Where did you find them?? 😀

    The Baby-Sitters Club was one of my big reading series when I was a teenager, years before I got into fantasy. And two guys run the podcast?! That’s neat. 🙂

    It just struck me how great an idea this is for a blog post (what I’m into / what makes me happy every month). Is this something that other bloggers do, too? Mind if I join in come December? Maybe it could be a good final post of 2016….

    Here’s what’s making me happy right now:

    Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist: I’ve been re-reading it for my next DIY MFA article, focusing on the theme of “fate vs free will.” It’s funny, because I was struggling with the topic I’d previously chosen, so I switched to the current topic… and now I know why: Because a number of its quotes on that theme are things I really need to hear right now.

    Iceland / Planning for Crowdfunding: I’ve been waiting to hear on results for a scholarship I’ve applied for to attend a writing retreat in Iceland. (I might’ve mentioned this to you a while ago…?) The winners will be announced this week, so I’m assuming that if I haven’t heard yet, I probably am not a winner… but after talking with close friends and other people I trust, I’m in the middle of prepping a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the trip. It’s been fun thinking of perks and ways that donors can benefit from this, and the more I think about it, the more determined I am to find a way to go to Iceland… especially since the northern latitudes of TKC’s world are inspired by its geography and wildlife. (Which is my #1 reason for wanting to go!!)

    Chocolate: It’s not healthy, but it makes stress a lot more bearable. *lol*

    New Microfleece Blanket: I don’t remember the brand name off-hand (I’m visiting my parents atm), but it was on sale a few weeks ago at The Paper Store. It’s so soft and comforting. I love snuggling up with it when reading in my bedroom chair now.

    Epica’s “Beyond the Matrix”: I’ll provide a link if you’re interested in hearing the song (it’s symphonic metal, and I know not everyone’s into that)… But the lyrics have been resonating with so much lately, for so many reasons. (“Shine past the sky / Open your mind / And you will be / Balanced and free / Be the master of your own energy…”) Plus the chorus is so catchy, and its music sounds triumphant. It’s a wonderfully uptempo and inspiring.

    • Leanne Sowul says:

      Oops, I clicked enter before I was done commenting. So excited about your Iceland trip! I hope the crowdfunding works out. What a cool idea. And definitely justified to do research for TKC. My next historical novel should take place somewhere tropical 😉

      If you do a “what’s making me happy” post in December, let me know the day and maybe we can link up with each other. I bet you’d come up with some interesting stuff.

      And PS- Chocolate is totally healthy, haven’t you heard? 🙂

      • Sara L. says:

        I definitely will. 😉 It might post a little “early” in the month, since I’m planning to take a blogging hiatus from 12/20 through New Years. But I’ll let you know when I have a better idea of whether it’ll happen or not.

  3. Byrd says:

    The chaste ballet flat is a great Turks sub at around $80. I love mine!

  4. Byrd says:

    Ack. Tieks sub. Thanks, Autocorrect!

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